Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Red Sox fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.
Did Dave Dombrowski make a mistake with the Chris Sale extension?
For this week’s Fanpulse survey — and remember we send out one of these each and every week! — we had a special question in light of the Chris Sale injury news. That question is, well, the one above in big ol’ letters. It’s been a big topic of conversation since Sale went down and had to go visit Dr. James Andrews, and was a concern even when the contract was first signed this past spring. It should be noted, before I reveal the results, that the later news that Sale would not have to undergo Tommy John surgery came out between the time this survey was sent out and when I received the results. Presumably, that news could have changed the opinions of some, but certainly not everyone who participated. Okay, with that out of the way, how did you vote?
As you can see, this one was fairly close but “yes” did come out on top. The final results were 58 percent yes and 42 percent no. Based on the conversations after the initial injury news came out, I’m not overly surprised by these results. That said, I disagree. I think there was certainly always risk in extending a pitcher of Sale’s age, but there’s risk in every contract ever. That’s just how it works. The fact is that the Red Sox have been dreadful at developing starting pitching, and they don’t exactly have the farm system to trade for another, younger ace. As such, they either had to sign an expensive, aging top-of-the-rotation arm or go without an ace. I don’t think the latter was a realistic option given the competitive window, so with all of that in mind Sale was the best option available. And, of course, Sale could very well be back at full strength for another huge year in 2020.
Manager and team confidence
With the way this season has gone, confidence in the direction of the team has stabilized at an extremely low level. Even after a good week last week, Red Sox fans came in with a 13 percent confidence level. That is second-to-last in among all fans, with only Pirates fans being less optimistic. Meanwhile, Alex Cora actually saw a big boost back in his confidence, shooting up from 46 percent to 71 percent. I can’t really explain the big jump for him with the team staying so steady, but I also don’t disagree with either level.
Are juicing the balls bad for baseball?
After last week we determined most fans (correctly, in my opinion, believe MLB was intentionally juicing the baseballs, the next logical question is whether or not that is good. Baseball fans do not believe so.
I talked about this in last week’s post so I won’t go too far into it again this time. Generally, I think the league adjusting the baseball is fine as long as they are transparent about it. Now, I’m not crazy about just how extreme home run levels have gotten, but I can see how other people would like it. All in all, I guess I just don’t have a strong opinion here.